Arsenal declared Alexandre Lacazette their 2018/19 Player of the Season – as voted for by Gunner’s for his brilliance at the Emirates club this season.
Alexandre Lacazette, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign up front and deservedly claimed 35 per cent of the votes cast. Rob Kelly gives his verdict on the 27-year-old.
The goals, the assists, the celebrations, the sauce: it has been some season for Alex Lacazette.
If the mark of an elite forward is to make the difference when their team needs it most, then take a quick glance at Laca’s campaign.
Goals against Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Valencia only tell half the story, as do his assists against Manchester United both home and away.
For while they underline Laca’s status as a big-game player, it is perhaps more telling to look at when the majority of his 18 goals have been scored to understand just how important he has been.
Take, for example, his first goal of the season, away at Cardiff. Toiling at 2-2 with the newly-promoted side entering the final 10 minutes, suddenly a chance presented itself and the striker made no mistake. Top corner. Three points. Job done.
His next, at home against Everton, was similarly important against stubborn opponents who had kept us at bay until Lacazette collected the ball to the left of the box and curled an unstoppable strike into the top corner. His celebration also caught fire on social media -and would be far from the last to do so – firmly establishing his place in Arsenal fans’ hearts.
Of his 18 goals this season, 11 have given Arsenal the lead in a match – and have gone on to win 10 of those matches. The outlier was the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates back in November, when his tenacity, composure and clinical finishing sealed a very hard-earned point.
But it is not only what Laca has done in front of goal that has sealed his position as your Player of the Season.
It is also down to his force of personality, his ability to lift the team and the crowd with a simple chase back to win the ball, lung-busting run at goal or threading of an eye-of-the-needle pass.
Or the fact he simply appears to have so much fun, whether that’s in shooting practice on the training ground or doing an UnClassic Commentary with Auba.
Football may be a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. And Laca has fun, lots of it – but he remains a serious talent, and a deserved winner of our Player of the Season for 2018/19.